Thanksgiving might be over, but plenty of leftovers probably still remain — and as you reheat stuffing and assemble turkey sandwiches, you might be tempted to share a taste or two with your furry friend.
But before slipping your dog a treat from the table, you must check that it doesn’t pose a health hazard.
“In a nutshell, the same principles we use to choose healthy foods for ourselves apply to our dogs,” Jan Allegreti, a California-based holistic animal expert and author of “The Complete Holistic Dog Book: Home Health Care for Our Canine Companions,” told Fox News Digital.
“Sharing Thanksgiving leftovers that are made from wholesome, home-prepared ingredients, minimally processed, is a great way to provide a delicious, nutritious meal. There are just a few exceptions.”
The American Kennel Club (AKC) and expert veterinarians discussed some key dos and don’ts when it comes to feeding human food to canines.
See the lists below — and take careful precautions.
What’s safe to feed to dogs?
As veterinarians told AKC, the following foods don’t pose a safety hazard for dogs.
Potatoes. Plain boiled or baked potatoes are safest, experts say.
Sweet potatoes are also OK, as they are rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta-carotene and fiber. Just be sure to skip such added ingredients as maple syrup, brown sugar and marshmallows.
Apples. It’s fine to share sliced, fresh apples with your dog — the vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber content make them a healthy treat.
Avoid giving the core to dogs, however — as apple seeds can be toxic, a vet warns.
Turkey meat. Dogs can enjoy some leftover turkey scraps, as long as they don’t contain any bones or skin. It should also be plain meat, without any seasoning.
Fatty turkey skin can contain butter or oil, which could cause digestive issues, vets say.
Green beans. These can make a healthy veggie snack for canines, as they’re rich in vitamins C and K, fiber and manganese. As with the other foods, skip additives like butter and salt and serve them plain.
Peas. Serve them plain and avoid the creamed version.
Pumpkin. Pure pumpkin purée is fine to serve to dogs and can even benefit a pooch’s skin, coat and digestive health, according to the AKC. Avoid serving pumpkin pie, however, as the sugars and spices can cause issues.
“Moderate how much fat they get — whether that’s butter on your carrots or in the pastry from your pumpkin pie — as that’s not good for the pancreas,” said Ali Smith, a Maryland dog dog trainer and founder of Rebarkable.com, in an email to Fox News Digital.
What is not safe to feed to your dog?
The following foods can be unhealthy or even toxic to dogs and should not be shared with your pets, according to AKC and other experts.
Turkey bones, skin and gravy. “Stay away from the skin, as it’s hard to digest and fattier than what was under it,” Dr. Matthew McCarthy a veterinarian and founder of Juniper Valley Animal Hospital in Queens, New York, told Fox News Digital.
“These two factors make it likely to cause pancreatitis, as the pancreas over-produces digestive enzymes, damaging its own tissue.”
Sugar-free treats are packed with xylitol, which is highly toxic for dogs.
Turkey bones are also brittle and can lodge in a pup’s throat, stomach or intestines, McCarthy said.
Chocolate, cookies, pies and sweets. “Chocolate can cause acute cardiac, gastrointestinal and neurologic issues in dogs, so anything with chocolate should be avoided,” said McCarthy.
Also, sugar-free treats are packed with xylitol, which is highly toxic for dogs — “it causes quick, often life-threatening drops in a dog’s blood sugar, and can also lead to liver failure,” McCarthy warned.
Most side dishes. “This can be quite a diverse bunch of items, but there are some commonalities,” said McCarthy.
“Mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes and sausage stuffing are all delicious, but are also quite rich (fatty) with dairy and butter,” he said.
Mashed potatoes, creamed peas and any foods containing spices — particularly onions, scallions and garlic — should also be avoided.
Raisins. Even in very small amounts, raisins can be highly toxic to dogs, causing kidney damage in just a few hours, McCarthy said.
“We often will induce vomiting and treat dogs that have eaten one or two raisins. So, anything containing raisins is a no-go.”
Even in very small amounts, raisins can be highly toxic to dogs, causing kidney damage in just a few hours.
Ham. “Despite being the ‘other white meat,’ pork is inherently fattier than other white meats like chicken and turkey, so cue the pancreatitis,” warned McCarthy. “So a no-no for your pup.”
Gravy. Typically, gravy is too rich for dogs — and as most dog foods are relatively plain, the sudden introduction of something so rich can trigger vomiting and diarrhea, said McCarthy.
“Also, some gravies may be made with onions, which are toxic to dogs (as are leeks, chives and garlic) when ingested in large amounts,” he said. “Although a lick or two of gravy is unlikely to cause any issues, it’s probably best to avoid altogether.”
It’s also important, he suggested, to properly dispose of any potentially harmful foods, so your dog can’t get into trash bags containing them.
“A majority of the dogs we see in the days after Thanksgiving and other holidays are victims of their own intrinsic ability to root out and scavenge food, especially those we throw in the garbage, so make sure your can is properly secured,” McCarthy said.
“And if your dog gets into something that you’re worried about, reach out to your veterinary team sooner than later. Better safe than sorry.”
In general, any abrupt change in a dog’s diet can cause digestive distress, noted Allegreti.
“If your dog has been eating nothing but kibble, it’s still fine to share a small amount of Thanksgiving leftovers — just don’t overdo it,” she told Fox News Digital.
“If you want to feed a more ‘human’ food-based diet, consult a canine nutritionist.”
“If he or she is used to eating fresh food, then the delicious foods you made for your holiday dinner should be just fine.”
Overall, whether it’s dog food or human food, feeding your pet a balanced diet is what’s most important, Smith said.
“If you want to feed a more ‘human’ food-based diet, consult a canine nutritionist, as fresh food comes with many benefits for dogs,” she added.